An aggregation of all our news sources: blog posts, events, Facebook posts and email newsletters.Subscribe via RSS
Writers Week returns with a powerhouse 2019 program that makes your story a part of every story.
If you’re buying a gift for a surfer, I don’t think you can go past this new book. Russell Ord, based in Margaret River, is recognised worldwide for his surfing photography. This book is full of sensational surfing photography – many the sort of photographs that make you wonder how Russell Ord is still alive! And Anthony Pancia has teamed up with Russell to share stories about the people and the culture of surfing. A beautiful landscape format hardcover.
Travis and Jane Deane have produced the 3rd edition of their invaluable guide to mountain biking in W. A. It’s for anyone looking for some 2-wheeled adventure around W.A., and judging by how many we sell of this book, it’s the perfect guide. It’s updated to include new trails since the last edition 3 years ago. It covers all types of bike trails, so whether you’re just holidaying and want to know where to ride, or you’re really serious, you’ll find this book invaluable.
Rod Marsh is one of the legends of Australian test cricket – playing 96 tests, recording 355 dismissals, and at the heart of the Australian Test team of the 1970s and early 1980s. This is his story in his own words, with a fabulous collection of photographs, including many from his private collection.
Following on from last year’s bestselling book, The Doctor’s In: Memorable Moments at the WACA Ground, Churchill Press have produced a companion book. It covers each day of the WACA Ground’s final men’s Ashes Test, with superb photographs and great commentary from Ken Casellas. The men’s and women’s last Big Bash matches at the WACA are also covered, with great stories and images. This is a lovely hardcover, a great gift for any cricketing fan, full of WACA statistics, and closes the final chapter on cricket at the WACA.
Boffins Books is proud to host an unmissable evening with Perth Festival Writers Week curator William Yeoman as he discusses the powerhouse 2019 Writers Week program.
Cato Kwong is back in Fremantle and seconded to major crime when a series of murders of homeless people escalates. The local setting adds to the thrill of reading this book. The plot is complicated by journalist Norman Lip’s online flirting with the killer. As the murders tally up, so do the false leads and dead ends. Cato is on a race against time to stop this killer in their tracks before they make a deadly move on his own family. As ever, Alan Carter has a tight but twisting plot that keeps you enthralled, and the social issues in the background – homelessness, blended families, online dating to name a few – make it an even more rewarding read.
If you want a gift for a fantasy reader, or a Game of Thrones fan, then this is perfect. Set 300 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire, FIRE AND BLOOD is the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn, and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through to the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever. If you want to know what were Maegor the Cruel's worst crimes, or what it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies, this book will tell all. It’s a lovely hardcover edition, with eighty odd all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley.
Frank Wynne has selected 100 of the best short stories from around the world for this 900 page tome. He calls it “a rattle-bag of stories, with the clank and clatter of things found, scavenged, unearthed and retrieved, all jostling between the covers, clamouring for attention”. It’s an exciting and brilliantly varied collection – Pushkin, Flaubert, Tolstoy, de Maupassant, Chekhov and Kafka are all there of course. But you’ll also find great voices from world literature that you may not be familiar with – Shusaku Endo, Herta Muller, Xi Xi to name a few among the hundred authors represented here. From Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan, by way of China and Brazil, and all over the face of the globe – you’ll experience some of the best writing in the world. This is a wonderful gift, if you can bear not to keep it yourself, in a wonderful hardcover gift edition.
Recently I was asked to recommend a book for someone who likes cryptic crosswords. Not a book about cryptics as such, but one that would appeal to someone who does them. Transcription was my suggestion. It is full of misleading characters and events and is equal parts playful and serious. The novel’s central character, Juliet Armstrong, fearing the consequences of her past life as a spy, sets out to investigate a spate of mysterious coincidences. Juliet is a great character, a mix of detachment and sly observations. Atkinson toys with words and ideas and saves the biggest, deepest puzzle for the very end.
Having lived in Perth all my life I guess I’ve just taken Rottnest for granted, assuming a knowledge and familiarity that’s perhaps not well founded. The creators of this new book on Rottnest, Penguin and Carnac islands looks at their unique environments and inhabitants throughout the year. The result is not just a stunning collection of photographs, but also some surprising new details about the creatures who survive and thrive there. Whether it’s Ospreys, Tiger Snakes, Little Penguins, or the iconic Quokka that piques your interest, you will find something between these pages to delight.
Noma is chef Rene Redzepi’s world-famous restaurant in Copenhagen – four times it’s been named the world’s best restaurant. David Zilber is the chef who runs Noma’s fermentation lab – an important role, as every dish at Noma includes some form of fermentation. In this book they share their knowledge and techniques with the rest of us. It’s superbly produced, with over 500 step-by-step photographs and illustrations, and over 100 clear and detailed original recipes. It will take you far beyond the usual fermented foods. Momofuku founder David Chang calls it “the definitive guide to creating fermented foods”.
Some years ago, Niki Segnet wrote a book called The Flavour Thesaurus – as it sounds, a compendium of food flavour pairings which has become a standby of both chefs and home cooks. Now she has produced an equally tantalising companion volume, designed to help creative cooks develop their own recipes. Don’t’ be scared off by this. The framework is a set of basic recipes which, when you’re familiar with them, become infinitely adaptable according to what’s in your fridge or what’s in season, or what you feel like making. Usually it just involves a tweak or two in the method or the ingredients. To give an example, if you can get your head around flatbreads then the book will take you along the continuum – crackers, soda bread, scones and their variations and how to improvise on the basic recipes. Niki’s writing is entertaining and inspirational, delightfully opinionated, and always draws on her deep knowledge of culinary science and history. Even Yotam Ottolenghi is raving about this book, and he has said “as a cookery writer, I am pretty jealous of this achievement”.
Two years ago Murdoch Books brought out The Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook, surely the best book on the subject to date. Now they’ve produced this wonderful Meat book, written by master butcher Anthony Puharich who runs Victor Churchill in Sydney, Australia’s oldest continually operating butcher shop (founded 1876) and major supplier to the restaurant trade. Weeks before he died, Anthony Bourdain penned a foreword to this book in which he described Victor Churchill as the most beautiful butcher shop he’d ever seen, and this book as the perfect place to understand meat and what to do with it. It’s an exquisite book in which you’ll learn about meat through the eyes of the farmer, the butcher, and the best cooks. This book covers just about everything about meat: the history of the various animals and the different breeds, illustrated butchery techniques, information about selecting and storing meat. Best of all, it has over 110 recipes showcasing the major cuts of meat, drawing on cuisines and chefs from all over the world. It’s a lavishly photographed and illustrated book that I believe will become a modern cookery classic.
A devastating tale of murder and survival based on the true story of a 19th century shipwreck in Bass Strait, Preservation is a great read for lovers of historical Australian fiction. The obvious comparison is The North Water by Ian McGuire. Both stories are page turners, take place in extreme (though very different) settings, and have at their core a repulsive and evil character who mesmerises the reader. The historical context, particularly the meeting of indigenous and settler cultures, adds another (often devastating) layer to what is a gripping read.
Australia’s favourite and funniest mathematician has to be Adam Spencer and he is back again with a new book that’s a real geek fest. It’s a countdown of the numbers from 100 to 1, with interesting trivia along the way. It’s full of puzzles, quizzes, games, numerical trivia and fun – the ultimate book for maths nerds and anyone with an inquiring mind.
Stephen Hawking was a brilliant theoretical physicist and considered to have been one of the world’s greatest thinkers. He’s best known for his book A Brief History of Time which appeared in 1988 and sold more than 20 million copies. In his final book he turned his attention to what he considered the most urgent issues for humankind. He shares his thoughts on 10 subjects including: Is there other intelligent life in the universe? Will we survive on earth? Should we colonise space? Will artificial intelligence outsmart us? If there is a unifying theme across the book, it is Hawking's deep faith in science's ability to solve humanity's biggest problems — be they in theoretical physics or the future of our species on Earth. His answers to the big questions illustrate his belief in the rationality of nature and on our ability to uncover all its secrets. His optimism permeates every page.
This 550 page hardcover compendium of facts from the QI team is the 7th, the largest, and the last in their series of QI Facts books. They always sell well at Boffins, which you’d expect, as most of our customers have an insatiable thirst for knowledge – even the random and sometimes trivial knowledge you get from the quirky QI people: Ego – Barbara Cartland insisted on including the title of every one of her 723 novels in her Who’s Who entry. Retail Extreme – Harrods used to sell pet leopards. Who’d have thought – Lenin spoke English with an Irish accent. Smart birds – crows can count up to six. Now if you’re a doubting Thomas, the book gives you links online to check all of the facts – and there you’ll see the source of the fact and heaps of background information. So the pedantic reader will be kept busy for weeks!
When his brother is found dead in an isolated spot in outback Queensland it looks as though it must have been suicide, but Nathan Bright finds it difficult to believe that Cameron would take his own life, and can not help but ponder the alternative. As they gather on the family property, Nathan starts digging around and asking questions. Once he starts though, it’s difficult to stop, and all sorts of secrets come to light.
Ian McPhedran is the author of The Amazing SAS and other books, and he knows a lot about special forces. His new book centres on the little Japanese-built fishing trawler called the Krait that was at the centre of one of WW2’s most audacious and successful Allied commando raids. In 1943 she carried 14 operatives from the top-secret “Z” Special Unit from Australia to Japanese occupied Singapore and back again. While there, they destroyed 30,00 tonnes of enemy shipping. In August 1945 The Krait, in the company of HMAS Bundaberg, attended the formal surrender of the Japanese forces to General Blamey at Ambon – a fitting tribute. After the war the Krait was used by smugglers, and then as a work boat, and now it’s in the hands of the Australian War Memorial. A great story of a feisty little boat and lots of derring do.
Roland Perry has written great military books like Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War; Horrie the War Dog, and Bill the Bastard. Now he’s turned his pen to the story of Stan Savige, who left school at 12 to become a blacksmith’s striker, enlisted for World War 1 and became a sniper at Gallipoli, and then rose through the ranks become a World War 2 General. Savige was a great warrior who fought and commanded in both wars – in Europe, the middle east, north Africa, and the Pacific in World 2. He was also a man of character and compassion, and between the wars he founded the war veterans’ support charity Legacy. This is a great story, as you’d expect from Roland Perry, about a great soldier.
This book is about the remarkable true story of Jacques Jaujard and his dedicated team whom saved the national treasures of the Louvre museum in Paris during World War II. Prior to the outbreak of the war, Jaujard whom was the deputy director Louvre, ordered the packing and removal of priceless artwork, jewellery, and pieces of antiquity. Among the most important art masterpieces was Leonardo da Vinci’s: Mona Lisa.
If you don’t like sharp, carefully constructed interior design – some would say clinical – then this book is for you. It showcases the home of modern-day bohemians around the world, most of them artists, who break almost every traditional interior decorating rule. Even if you do like it simpler, you’ll get inspiration from this delightfully individualistic collection. It’s hard to describe, but do come in and have a look at it and I feel you’ll find it uplifiting and unique.
Many of us now live in apartments. The team at Belle have put together a fabulous collection of interior decorating ideas for smaller spaces, ideal for anyone downsizing. There are all kinds of treatments from classical to modern, for high rise or for semi-detached living, from coast and river view locations to inner city high rise.
The old suburban idea of a backyard entirely separate from the house on the block is diminishing as we build on smaller blocks. But we still like big houses on these smaller blocks, and this can lead to a fairly unsatisfactory outdoor space. Architects and designers are coming up with innovative solutions that make the outdoors an integral part of our living space. This beautiful book showcases some of the best work in this field by architects around Australia. There are also projects involving renovations, altering old houses so that they better connect the outside with the inside – including a feature on Perth architect Adrian Iredale’s own renovated and modified Mount Hawthorn home, a 1935 Queen Anne Federation home that now brings the outdoors in.Anyone thinking of building, or renovating, or even just redoing their outdoor area, will find this book a treasure trove of innovative ideas to make your living space a more pleasurable one.
This memoir has an addictive quality that pulls you in and makes you want to read it. Growing up white, wealthy and (secretly) gay in Mississippi in the 50’s and 60’s was an adventure all of its own. With an alcoholic mother who outcasts herself with her embarrassing behaviour and habits and a money hungry, womanizing, fairly absent father, Tena was still brought up with love and friendship from her black nanny, Virgie, while trying to discover who she is and where she stands in the world. Tena’s story is a heartbreaking portrayal of the secrets of society, the fight to abolish racial prejudice and slavery in a tiny town full of bullheaded residents, true love and finding out that not everything is truly as it seems. If you’ve read The Help, this is a brilliant book to pick up next, full of honesty, emotion, heartbreak and redemption.
Boffins Books are proud to be the official bookseller at The Conversation Starter: The State of our Planet
Boffins Books are proud to be the official bookseller at the launch for the Griffith Review 62: All Being Equal featuring Holden Sheappard in conjunction with OUTinPerth.
Set in small town New Jersey, Unsheltered alternates between two stories, one from the 19th century, and the other very much of the 21st. In each storyline the central character finds themselves living in a house that threatens to collapse any minute, and in a society whose ignorance threatens them in other ways. Kingsolver is such a good storyteller, drawing you into the lives of her characters with skill. I particularly loved the women in this novel, each of whom struggle against the restrictions placed upon them, using a combination of humour, intelligence and downright stubbornness. She clearly had a lot of fun with the 2016 part of the narrative, incorporating some of the craziness of the presidential election into the story to great effect. Often I can’t stop myself from gobbling novels, but with Unsheltered I forced myself to slow down, to make it last - because I was enjoying it so much I didn’t want it to finish. Highly recommended.
Connolly makes us laugh like no other. On receiving his knighthood, a journalist said “This must mean a lot to you, with you coming from nothing?", He answered "I didnae come from nothing. I come from something. I grew up in the tenements of post-war Glasgow. I am very proud to be working class, and especially a working-class Glaswegian who has worked in the shipyards. I come from the working class. And, most of all, I come from Scotland. And this book is about why I will always be happy and proud that I do." It’s all about Scotland and the things that matter to Billy: family, love, sex, health, football, fishing, work, art, swearing, banjos, friends, going to the pub. And good tea.
The Italian Job and Alfie come to mind when I think of Michael Caine (sounds better than Maurice Micklewhite, his real name). That was of course in my teenage years – what a great time that was! This book is not strictly an autobiography – he’s previously written two volumes of autobiography. It’s more about Michael Caine at 85 looking back at his life and everything it’s taught him. Son of a fish market porter and a charwoman, he’s worked hard to become one of the world’s most loved actors and he’s never lost touch with his working class roots. The book is full of stories that provide lessons to us all – stories about his successes and his failures, the misery, struggle, comedy, drama, romance and tragedy of a long life in the movie business. If you want to know why John Wayne advised him not to wear suede shoes, you’ll have to read the book. You’ll p*** yourself laughing. But you can learn a lot more from this book than just what shoes to wear.
David Astle is the crossword maker for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, so he knows a bit about it. The first part of the book is called “How Puzzling Nourishes Your Neurons” and summarises the latest research and on how solving puzzles helps us ward off the dreaded Alzheimers. The second part of the book – “Unlocking a Cryptic Crossword” – is a crash course in how to solve cryptic crosswords. and the third and final part of the book presents 50 cryptic crosswords to get your brain buzzing.
Oleg Gordievsky was a figure of profound historical importance. No mere defector, he was a long term deep penetration agent inside the KGB and Britain’s most significant double agent during the Cold War. He opened up the inner workings of the KGB to the West at a pivotal juncture in history, revealing not just what they were doing, but also what they were thinking. Prior to receiving Gordievsky’s reports both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher had understood the Cold War in terms of a communist threat against democracy. It was in part thanks to Gordievsky that they came to see the Soviet anxiety might be more dangerous than Soviet aggression.
Leo Kennedy is the great-grandson of Sergeant Michael Kennedy, who was slain at Stringybark Creek by the Kelly gang. His book challenges the Kelly myth – presenting Ned not as a hero, but as the leader of a merciless gang of outlaws. It’s a great perspective – both Kelly and Kennedy came from similar backgrounds, Irish immigrants struggling to make their way in the colony of Victoria. One chose to defend the law, one to break it. Leo Kennedy at last gives voice to the victims of the merciless Kelly gang.
Max Hastings has written many fabulous military histories like Catastrophe (WW1, 1914) and Nemesis (WW2 Pacific). Now he’s turned his pen to the Vietnam War – from the end of WW2, through the departure of the French and the division of the country into north and south, the U.S. involvement, until the north captured Saigon in 1975. We’re used to seeing the U.S. as the nasties in the Vietnam War, but Hastings presents an array of evidence of North Vietnamese atrocities and cruelty that tips the balance. In fact he argues that both the North and South Vietnamese governments were cruel and incompetent. There’s good, and very favourable, coverage of the Australian forces who served there. This is a massive book, over 650 pages, but Hastings writes so well that you’re captivated –it’s disturbing but gripping. I have to say I’m enthralled, and I feel that anyone interested in the Vietnam War will learn much from this book.
Now this is an offbeat topic for a history book, but so interesting. Most of us don’t think much about the influence of fabric in history. You’ll be introduced to the origins of weaving, to the wrapping of Egyptian mummies, silk in Ancient China – and the cities of the silk road that it built, the woollen sails of the Viking ships, the cotton trade, right through to rayon and modern fabrics used for space travel, sports clothes and extreme cold. You’ll come away from this book surprised by how important fabrics have been in history.
Now my favourite Murakami novel, an absorbing tale of mysterious businessmen, midnight bell-ringing, and how we cope with disasters that befall us.
Steve Hawke’s first foray into adult fiction, The Valley, is a tender and sensitive novel set in the Kimberley, a part of the country he knows well having lived and worked there for over a decade. It spans nearly a full century, beginning with a murder in 1916 and ending almost a hundred years later with the truth of that violent act finally revealed. In 2005, after a run-in with a local bikie gang, young Broome schoolboy Dancer Jirroo and his father journey up the Gibb River Road. They are heading to the country where Dancer’s mother, Milly, grew up. She disappeared years ago and Dancer knows little about her, but in the days that follow many of the secrets that have been kept for generations come to light as Dancer reconnects with his family and his country. The mystery of what happened to Milly, and the existence of the hidden valley create tension and propel the story forward. Hawke’s deep knowledge of the area and its history, particularly the huge changes that occurred in the 20th century, shines through. Much like Kim Scott’s Taboo, this is a story of survival, of great sadness, but also of humour and resilience. A good story, well told.
A decade old cold case, in which the police were accused of incompetence and corruption, comes back to haunt John Rebus. He’s long retired from Police Scotland now, but that doesn’t stop him from interfering in the investigation, especially since his mates Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are part of the team investigating the case.
2028 is an Australian political satire set in the year 2028, during a federal election campaign. Prime Minister Fitzwilliams, of the Liberal Party is feeling confident about securing a fourth term – the Greens are in receivership following a lawsuit from a chemical company, the Labor leader is incompetent and just happy to be invited and his cabinet is, finally, against all odds, somewhat competent. Then a spanner is thrown in the works when a group of nude protesters show up at the election announcement. Their names are all Ned Ludd and they call themselves the Luddite party.
Interviews with 500 girls and many fathers, also leading psychologists, school principals, police and neuroscientists to get the answers mothers, fathers and daughters need to know.
Here are 50 Delicious cocktail recipes inspired by Ian Fleming’s work. Straight Up; On The Rocks; Tall; Fizzy; Exotic and of course the Martini.
Live a home-grown life. Learn skills for down-to-earth living. DIY projects, wild fermentation and permaculture.
If you read The Future Eaters, which looked at the evolution of animals, plants and people in Australasia, you’ll know how good a story he can tell.
This outstanding new book takes us on a journey into the relatively new field of epigenetics.
This book is a nice cross between medical and true crime. Richard Shepherd has performed over 23,000 autopsies – that’s about an average of 3 each working day in his 30 year career as a forensic pathologist and in this book he tells the story of his career through some of the significant cases he worked on – and his first was the Hungerford killing spree in the U.K in 1987 where 16 people were massacred.
The City of Perth Library, UWA Institute of Advanced Studies and Boffins Books, are delighted to present Bob Brown and Paul Thomas for their author talk on Green Nomads Wild Places.